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  • Varroa in my new nuc

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #3676  by Chrisbarlow
 19 Jun 2019, 17:27
It's a non issue having colonies or nucs with a high varroa load as long as you are aware and then treat. This time of year, treated colonies will do just some fine.

What to treat with, imo with honey on or off, go for MAQS. It's done in seven days. Just make sure they've got lots of room. It's potent stuff.
 #3678  by Patrick
 19 Jun 2019, 19:39
I’m with Chris on the use of MAQs, to which all I can usefully add is look out for using during really warm spells as it can sublimate excessively and cause problems.

Any weather anticipated in the late 20’s Centigrade and I would look elsewhere. Mind you, I am just leaving work wearing a coat at the moment, so such advice feels somewhat academic..
 #3680  by NigelP
 19 Jun 2019, 23:28
Due to the potential problems with using Maqs, hive volume and high temps and their effect on bees, not sure I'd recommend them for someone with their first nuc of bees.
Apivar or apistan strips, put them in between frames sit back and wait 6 weeks. Temp independent etc etc...they simply work....
OA (Apibioxal) vaporisation would be preferred, but far easier just to stick some plastic strips between a few frames and sit back and count dead varroa.
 #3681  by Wingnut
 19 Jun 2019, 23:46
It will be interesting to see what the Eastern Region NBU Inspector recommends for my lot.

The Apiarist blog site provides good reading on the subject:

But also in researching the whole Varroa mite problem I note Professor Beekman's (great name) recent research down under that throws a little more light onto the Varroa/ DWV issue:
 #3682  by NigelP
 20 Jun 2019, 16:38
Just hope is a good one. They are a mixed bunch, well meaning but, like most of us beekeepers, they carry a full set of prejudices and opinions :) . But usually an afternoon with one of them will teach you more about beekeeping that a year on various courses.
 #3683  by Wingnut
 20 Jun 2019, 17:14
I was thinking this episode is a good introduction and education.
Another two thrown out of the hive early morning with DWV. Sorry little things; alive but crippled. I eventually dropped them in to Isopropyl Alcohol to hasten their exit.

..and I was so excited with the new colony like an expectant father waiting for the new arrivals. But, and as said above, if the issue can be sorted out then there is still lots of time for the colony to build and survive.

These varroa are of Asian origin eh? I wonder when they first hit our shores. It must have been devastating (no pun intended) for Beekeepers.
 #3815  by Wingnut
 27 Jun 2019, 21:05
An update as promised:

The NBU regional inspector called and checked out the colony.

He maintained that all hives have, to some degree, varroa mites. I showed him the odd few bees that I had found with signs of DWV.

Following a thorough inspection of the hive he declared that it was all very 'clean' and that no remedial action was required. He did not find any great evidence of DWV in the active colony - nor any other disease.

'Good news everyone!'

We popped the queen excluder and super on to the brood chamber and which I had put on and then taken off the week before pending his expert opinion. Job done. Phew! A clean bill of health. Hopefully the colony will now lay down supplies for the winter ahead.

I asked about autumn varroa treatment. He said that unless there is any very substantial increase in the varroa count to avoid any chemical use at all. He was pretty emphatic.

There remains the few new bees being thrown out of the hive exhibiting DWV on a daily basis. I note the odd dead varroa mite on the bottom board too. Hopefully it will all stay like that.
 #3831  by AdamD
 28 Jun 2019, 14:56
I would be inclined to treat for varroa in August any case. I tend to avoid the chemical treatments such as Apistan, Bayvatol or Apivar due to resistance build-up.
 #3832  by Wingnut
 28 Jun 2019, 16:00
That was my inclination too having trawled through the literature and forums. Prevention being better than cure. As a novice I am inclined to follow his expert advice to the word.
I will monitor the mite drop closely and if there is any great increase will seek further advice.

Interestingly he said that Cambridgeshire had up to x5 the disease problems of elsewhere in the country. There is, apparently, a high density of backyard and urban beekeepers. Sadly colonies are abandoned and diseases untreated.